Closed petition Require vaccine history be recorded on death certificates

I've asked the ONS to provide me with data of all those who died from influenza that had received the flu vaccine to enable me to compare how many died without the vaccine. They are not able to provide that as currently it's not recorded. I want the Government to enable this data gathering.

More details

I've requested data about deaths and vaccines from the ONS under the Freedom of information act but they are not able to provide this as it's not currently recorded.

In the interest of scientific evidence this is basic essential data gathering I assumed was already being undertaken. I'm horrified it isn't. I believe it's poor record keeping. How does anyone currently assess the efficacy of a vaccine without this basic record keeping?

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 16 November 2021

There are no current requirements or future plans for medical information beyond the cause of death to be recorded in the death entry. Vaccine effectiveness is monitored by UK Health Security Agency.

Read the response in full

There are no current requirements or future plans for medical information beyond the cause of death to be recorded in the death entry. Vaccine effectiveness is monitored by UK Health Security Agency.

Information regarding an individual’s flu vaccine is recorded on the National Immunisation Management System - https://www.scwcsu.nhs.uk/services/nhs-immunisation-management-service/. A flag is also normally placed on an individual’s GP record to show that a vaccine has been administered. Vaccine effectiveness is monitored by UK Health Security Agency each influenza season, however due to extremely low levels of circulating influenza during the 2020-21 season, vaccine effectiveness estimates could not be made. Vaccine effectiveness is measured by comparing vaccination status in people who test positive (cases) for the flu compared with those who test negative (controls), with this testing done at sentinel GP swabbing practices among a few thousand patients presenting with influenza symptoms.

Further information is available in the annual flu reports which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/annual-flu-reports. A publication on the end of season influenza vaccine effectiveness in primary care in adults and children in the United Kingdom in 2018/19 (the most recent influenza season for which data are available) is available here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31685296/

Medical practitioners are required to certify the cause of death “to the best of their knowledge and belief”. The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) is set out in two parts, in accordance with World Health Organisation recommendations in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 relating to death certification, the General Register Office/Home Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates of cause of death for the period of the emergency legislation. The information to be recorded on the medical certificate of cause of death is currently prescribed by statute. The registrar records in the death entry (and on subsequent death certificates) the cause of death as shown on the MCCD or as advised by the Coroner. There is no provision for medical information beyond the cause of death to be recorded in the death entry.

guidance-for-doctors-completing-medical-certificates-of-cause-of-death-covid-19.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)

If the death followed a vaccine, it is likely to be considered unnatural and as such should be notified to the relevant senior coroner.

Department of Health and Social Care

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/587506)

Other parliamentary business

Original Government response

An individual’s flu vaccine is recorded on the National Immunisation Management System, a flag is normally placed on the GP record and vaccine effectiveness is monitored by Public Health England.

Information regarding an individual’s flu vaccine is recorded on the National Immunisation Management System - https://www.scwcsu.nhs.uk/services/nhs-immunisation-management-service/. A flag is also normally placed on an individual’s GP record to show that a vaccine has been administered. Vaccine effectiveness is monitored by Public Health England each influenza season, however due to extremely low levels of circulating influenza during the 2020-21 season, vaccine effectiveness estimates could not be made. Vaccine effectiveness is measured by comparing vaccination status in people who test positive (cases) for the flu compared with those who test negative (controls).
Further information is available in the annual flu reports which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/annual-flu-reports. A publication on the end of season influenza vaccine effectiveness in primary care in adults and children in the United Kingdom in 2018/19 (the most recent influenza season for which data are available) is available here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31685296/

Medical practitioners are required to certify the cause of death “to the best of their knowledge and belief”. The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) is set out in two parts, in accordance with World Health Organisation recommendations in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 relating to death certification, the General Register Office/Home Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates of cause of death for the period of the emergency legislation. The information to be recorded on the medical certificate of cause of death is currently prescribed by statute. The registrar records in the death entry (and on subsequent death certificates) the cause of death as shown on the MCCD or as advised by the Coroner. There is no provision for medical information beyond the cause of death to be recorded in the death entry.

Guidance for doctors completing medical certificates of cause of death:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877302/guidance-for-doctors-completing-medical-certificates-of-cause-of-death-covid-19.pdf

If the death followed a vaccine, it is likely to be considered unnatural and as such should be notified to the relevant senior coroner.

Department of Health and Social Care

This response was given on 26 July 2021. The Petitions Committee then requested a revised response, that more directly addressed the request of the petition.